Ivan Ilic: Sad to say that I only have 19 days left in this beautiful country.

Chengdu is by far the biggest city I have ever lived in. It is also the biggest city I have ever visited for an extended period of time. I have been to the smallest of villages in Bosnia to medium-sized towns back in the United States, but Chengdu takes the cake for a variety of reasons. I do not know the actual number, but if I were to take a guess, I would say that there is at least one hundred skyscrapers within a six mile radius from the Sichuan University Huaxi campus. The other day I caught myself staring out of the twenty-fourth floor of a building at the beautiful skyline of Chengdu. I was amazed by the lit up skyscrapers and thought to myself, where does it end?  There were all types of buildings lit up with an entire color spectrum of lights. It seemed as if the skyscrapers never ended. Also, to think about the future plans they have for this city is truly astonishing. This city is huge, but the transportation system makes it possible to make it to your destination in a matter of minutes.

The transportation system of Chengdu is very efficient. There are all types of ways to get around in Chengdu. From the subway, taxis, scooters, bicycles, and rickshaws, a person can get a ride to any destination at any time of day or night. To me it seems as if there are thousands of cabs running through Chengdu. Although at times it might be hard to find a cab in the middle of the day on Ren Min road, I haven’t had to wait more than ten minutes to get one. When I get bored of waiting for a cab, I just walk one hundred meters down the street to the subway station that is located right at the main entrance of our campus. If I do not feel like taking the subway, I can approach one of the many locals hanging out on their scooters near the subways entrance. This is the case at most of the subway entrances and exits throughout the city. By far one of my favorite methods of transportation that I don’t take often is the good old rickshaw. Negotiating prices, hitting bumps, smelling gas fumes, the noise, being so different from the usual means of transportation is what makes it so fun.

Going out and exploring the Chengdu is an amazing experience but doing it on a bicycle has to be one of my favorite things to do. I ride my bicycle every day, whether it’s just to the student center and to the noodle shop or a few miles down the road. The traffic gets so bad that sometimes I can make it to a destination faster on my bicycle then I would with a cab. Riding in between cars and people is a rush I won’t ever experience in another city. I am so glad I bought a bike the third week I got to Chengdu, because it has been nothing but a fun experience each time.

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